Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s health condition has seriously deteriorated, the hospital treating him has announced.
Ariel Sharon, 85, has been in a coma for almost eight years.
Israeli media reports say he has suffered renal failure.
Ariel Sharon became prime minister in 2001, but in December 2005 he suffered a mild stroke.
After a second, major stroke in 2006, Ariel Sharon went into a coma and has been in a persistent vegetative state ever since.
Having fought in three Middle Eastern wars, Ariel Sharon is admired by many Israelis as a great military leader, but reviled by Palestinians.
While serving as defense minister in 1982, Ariel Sharon masterminded Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. During the invasion, Lebanese Christian militiamen allied to Israel massacred hundreds of Palestinians in two Beirut refugee camps under Israeli control.
Ariel Sharon was a keen promoter of the construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. He also initiated the construction of the controversial West Bank barrier.
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